Objective assessment of automatic language comprehension mechanisms in the brain: Novel E/MEG paradigm

Rasha Hyder, Andreas Højlund, Mads Jensen, Karen Østergaard, Yury Shtyrov

Результат исследований: Научные публикации в периодических изданияхстатья


Assessing the brain activity related to language comprehension is required in a range of situations. Particularly in cases when subjects’ cooperation with instructions cannot be guaranteed (e.g., in neurological patients), a protocol is needed that could be independent from attention and behavioural tasks. In this study, we aimed at designing a novel approach for neuro-magnetic recordings of brain activity which could allow for probing the neural foundations underpinning three key levels of speech comprehension: lexical, semantic and
(morpho-)syntactic, without requiring active attention on speech input or any active task, whilst keeping the recording session duration as short as possible. To this end, we designed two different auditory paradigms using the same set of single word-based lexical, semantic and syntactic contrasts: a modified version of the multi-feature oddball paradigm and an equiprobable design. Combined MEG/EEG data were recorded form young, healthy participants, presented with these stimuli while watching a silent movie. Data from the equiprobable design yielded significant activations in temporal and inferior frontal areas associated with the lexical, semantic and morpho-syntactic contrasts. In turn, neural dissociations observed in the multi-feature paradigm emerged mainly in temporal cortices and were confined to the lexical and semantic conditions with a striking lack of any statistically significant effects for syntactic violations. Our findings indicate that, by employing the equiprobable design, a comprehensive range of key linguistic processes could be assessed in a passive, attention-free manner within a relatively short time (here, ~27 min), thus making this paradigm a time-efficient and patient-friendly tool.
Язык оригиналаанглийский
Номер статьиe13543
Номер выпуска5
Ранняя дата в режиме онлайн14 фев 2020
СостояниеОпубликовано - апр 2020

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